I have read alot of information about the million nurse march. I think it is a wonderful idea but a realty of life is that many of us who agree will never be able to afford the trip to Washington. I think we can help right here from our own homes on the net or with the power of the pen we can let our voices be heard. I am posting an email letter I wrote to one of the major news shows on television trying to get some decent media coverage for our treasured profession. I would invite feed back from nurses about this letter I felt inspired to write. Here Goes:
I am a registered nurse working in a southeast hospital. I am writing about a critical problem in our country. The Nursing Shortage. This is a problem seen by every nurse working in the nursing field. The problem is the average joe in America does not really know what it is to be a nurse. Doctors always get all the credit for everything in the medical field, the nurse is never credited for helping with the curing of the patient. Most usually the stories about hospital care are about how non-professionals are doing care supposed to be done by nurses. My question is why do you think this happens? It happens because non-professionals are cheap labor. Yet when it comes time for the news media to do a story on the nursing shortage they go to the same people who would rather hire the non-professionals to do the job instead of the nurses themselves. I would love to see a show do a story on nurses by actually following a REAL NURSE in the hospital while taking care of their patients.
Nursing is a way of life not only a career. Most nurses are nurses because they they feel they are called to do this job. It is by no means a glamorous job. We often have to deal with the parts of peoples lives they would rather forget. We are in the emergency room when a pt comes in for a simple laceration or a major trauma to hold the hand of a child or to give pain medication to a pt who has suffered a gun shot wound. We are there in the hospital when a pt is diagnosed with a major disease to hold their hand after they have been given this information by a doctor who has spent a few minutes in the span of the day with the pt. The nurse is there to educate, console, and just plain listen. We are there when giving birth to a new baby to assist with the birth process, and to assist the new mother to take care of the infant. We are there when the major crisis of a heart attack rocks the pts world to assist them to care for them to nurse them back to health. Finally we are there in the last hours of a pts life who has suffered with cancer or some other terminal illness sometimes for years to cry with the pt, to care for them, to elevate their pain, and make the passage from this world to the next as painless as possible for the pt and the families of our pts.
Although we are here for all these major events in a person's life do we get the credit we deserve from the media and the common joe on the street? Most of the time we do not. The only coverage that sells in the media is bad news, nice news does not sell. So most of the stories in the media about nursing are aiding to the problem of the nursing shortage after all why should someone want to go to years of college to do a job where you are mostly over worked and under paid. As one of the majority of these over worked under paid individuals I choose nursing as my career, my life because my rewards come from my pts as they struggle with the diagnosed problems which have led them to our hospital with a simple smile as I assist them in the task that may aide to saving their lives in the job I have been called to do.
I signed sincery Rebecca McClelland RN
I plan on sending this letter to dateline NBC. I do not know if it will do any good but atleast I know I have made my opinion known and who knows maybe just maybe something will come of it.
Let me know what you think and feel free to forward this letter. In fact I encourage you to pass it on to someone in nursing or in the media.
Thank you for letting me have this place to be able to connect with the nurses of the world.
Jan 5, '01
I wish you the best of luck in getting some attention for our profession. I have been in nursing for 24 years. Yes, it is hard at times and I have laughed and cried with many of my patients and their families. If I did not feel such great satisfaction from my patients I would have left many years ago.
It is eaither in your blood or it is not. If it is not, you will not stay in it for very long.
Again, Good Luck
If you enjoy word puzzles come visit me at www.CrosswordsForNurses.com
Jan 5, '01
Hi beckymcrn. Thank you for taking the time to email your concerns to the people who need to know. It's great to see nurses who care about their profession.
I will write you that patients and families care about nursing. They care when they don't have a nurse responding to them after undergoing a harsh procedure the doctor ordered. They care when they have become sick at their stomachs and find that there is no nurse available soon enough to remove their soiled clothing, clean their soiled bed, or give them a soothing medicine for their symptoms. They care when their IV pump is beeping and they have to call for a nurse for an hour to manage it. They care when they c/o pain and a nurse does not respond to them immediately. They care when they tell the home health nurse that they did not have a bm for 1 or 2 weeks while in the hospital and the nurse did not respond when they finally told them about the problem 1 or 2 days before discharge. Let there be no mistake, nurses are cared about especially when they are missed. I don't know if you saw it, but there was a consumer satisfaction survey posted in this website that had nurses ranked number one. I have had a number of patients/clients tell me how valuable nurses are to them. Some are starting to feel sorry for the nurses, but they are the ones who don't get airtime. As you indicated, nurses are taken for granted. Much of this, I will acknowledge, we brought on ourselves because we did not progress with the times. When we fight, we need to make sure that we're fighting with a full deck of cards. I encourage you to continue your individual attention on behalf of nursing.
Jan 6, '01
I couldn't have said it better myself MiJourney. Anyone and everyone who writes these letters is much appreciated. I write anybody and everyone I can-senators, Oprah, you name it. I figure it can't hurt. When someone does report on this, it will make a great story.
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